Artist spotlight: Easy Life
British jazz group talks touring America, ‘Sunday’ and Kevin Abstract
Brockhampton’s Kevin Abstract may follow Easy Life on Instagram, but the band still isn’t sure if he’s a fan yet.
To be fair, he probably heard the horn section in their track “Nightmares” –– along with roughly 10 million other people –– and hit the follow button.
But the group stays humble about it.
Easy Life, which laces each track with brass riffs and rap verses, prides itself on its jazz-band roots, which have earned the group 640,000 monthly Spotify listeners prove it’s on the up.
We caught up with the jazz heads after their Governors Ball 2019 performance this summer and print it today as part of our new “Artist to Know” interview series. Throughout the series, we will highlight rising international (and local) musical talent before they, inevitably, take off.
The interview, lightly edited for style and length, follows below:
The Spectrum: I know you guys tweeted out you were pretty excited to do all these festivals in America.
EASY LIFE: Oh, we're just like, super stoked to be here. Most of us have never actually been to America until we came out here playing music so it feels good to be here, man. We travel around and see the sights and meet people. It’s good, man.
S: And who are you most excited to see, at least this weekend?
EL: Some of these lads saw Tyler [the Creator] last night. He was pretty good. We wanted to see BROCKHAMPTON, Blood Orange and the Internet and everyone. We got here just as Tyler started so we were a bit late. We saw half his set. It was f-----g sick. And there’s loads of people today I want to see, so hopefully we don’t have too many interviews.
S: And I know at least Kevin Abstract is a big fan of you guys, right?
EL: Well I don’t know if I can say that, but we’re a really big fan of his. He’s dope. I don’t know if he even knows who Easy Life is.
S: You guys actually announced you’ll be playing Glastonbury. That’s humongous. How does it feel?
EL: It’s going to be mad, to be fair. We’re well excited. It’s going to be nice to go back to England and just do some English festivals, where it’s really muddy and not so hot and everyone’s going to be miserable, it’s going to be fun.
S: Glastonbury is big. But I think what's cooler is you guys are actually on the FIFA ‘19 soundtrack. What does that mean to you?
EL: Oh, it's amazing. Obviously, we've all played FIFA growing up and stuff. So super cool. But that came at a really weird time in our story. It was super early and we hit the fan.
S: Another accomplishment I saw, or at least what I deem an accomplishment, was that “Sunday” video. The whole “Father Time” idea, who decided on that?
EL: Man, you know what, we can't really take much credit for that. We sent the track to the director Greg, who’s super creative, super dope. We love working with him. And he was like, ‘Why don't you just, you know, use hair growth to show a passage of time’ and we were like, ‘Let's do it.’ And then just saw it go from there. But yeah, it's cool.
S: I’ve listened to all your music. A lot of horns, like pretty beautiful horns. You looked over right away when you heard the horns over there [at the festival] as well. How does it feel to be pushing out brass in 2019?
EL: Yes, super relevant and important for our sound as well as always having that brass element because a lot of it is jazz inspired, most of them. They're like harmonies and chord movement and stuff. So yeah, me and Sam started this music, getting into music, by playing in jazz bands, like big bands and show bands and stuff like that. And it’s always a highlight for us when we get to just jam out. We love it, man. Thanks for saying that.
S: It's a big day today at Gov Ball. You guys had a pretty big set today. What are you looking forward to most leaving Randall's Island Park?
EL: Just keep putting out music we love. As long as we love it. We’re coming back to America. We’re going on tour in December. I don’t know where it is that we’re going but lots of places. New York, we’ll be back for a show.
Brenton Blanchet is the editor-in-chief and can be reached at Brenton.Blanchet@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @BrentonBlanchet.